Here I am in my parents' bedroom. Mom is feeding dad some rice porridge. He's feeling hot inside, and the palliative care nurse who was here a while ago says it's the pyrogenic (heat-producing) cancer cells, because earlier today dad was telling me he felt like he had a fever, but when I took his temperature, it was normal.After a long day of traveling yesterday, I got back home at half-past nine at night. My father was almost in tears and mumbling something which I barely made out as "I'm so happy to see you". I was quite shocked to see how much he has deteriorated since I last saw him, merely 3 months ago. He has lost so much body mass, he looks like a skeleton now. It's quite distressing seeing him like this. I've never imagined I'd have to see this happen this early in my life. Still, the inevitable is staring me right in the face. I'm still feeling confusion inside as to how I'm handling the situation. My emotions are just all mixed up. I think I made the right decision, and the right time, to come back home now. We can't even speculate how much longer he might survive but he needs to see us, the whole family together. I thank all our friends all around the world who are lending us their support and prayers, and the angels watching over my family as we go through this tough time.
Events in the past week have been driving me mad. For one, my dad's condition is getting progressively worse and mom's been calling me nearly every day to update me on his situation. She sounded anxious on the phone on Sunday and I was going to try to go back mid-week. But I too had some loose ends here to tie up before I leave, so I though I'd get that sorted out before I settle on a flight date.One being the filing of my taxes which I should have done a long time ago. I tried downloading the _e-tax_ thingy and do it on my own, online, but my situation as a freelancer/contractor isn't exactly clear-cut and I got stumped with some of the questions, and none of my friends who've done it before could help me. The ATO website is comprehensive, but also managed to utterly confuse me with all their jargon. In the end I just gave in and called up a tax accountant. I had to get this sorted out before I go back as the deadline is 31 Oct and I really don't know how I'd be away for. After that was done I went to a travel agent to get my flight. This was Wednesday already and the weekend was fully booked. The agent could only get me Friday midnight (meaning I have to check in Thursday night) or Monday morning. I took monday. My flight is in the morning 10am and arriving KL about 6pm. Just as well because when I got back home, I got an email from Antony saying one of the clients of ours was going ballistic cos the enquiry form on his site that we built wasn't working. And upon checking, I found that it wasn't working all this while! How we could have overlooked that I don't know, but in any case we had to get it sorted out. As usual when you're in a hurry, your computer and the internet slows to a crawl, and everything you try to do just refuses to work. I slogged through the night, and the next morning trying various scripts, and making calls back and forth to Antony about the server logins which seemed to have changed. Arrgh... I got so stressed out. Just what I *don't* need at this point. That very morning I woke up with a burning sore throat even. I felt like I was coming down with the flu. So already not feeling too well, I had to get those problems fixed and by afternoon I was exhausted and took some medication and had to have a nap. Another thing i *don't* need right now, to be ill when I travel, and when I get back home. Already got one sick man to take care of, they don't need another. Another disappointing development is that we have another big client project coming up, which normally would mean good news for me as it's more work, but they haven't signed the contract yet and we're just waiting on that. BUT, it's a big one and i believe pretty fast paced, and Antony would like to have it done while I'm here, preferably in the office so any reviews and changes can be done immediately. This is just when I am going away for an indefinite time! How frustrating. This is a big one and the billings for this would be very welcome indeed. Income has been slow in the last few months. Talk about bad timing. If this client had signed up a month earlier I'd be jumping for joy. So now I'm in an emotional turmoil, not knowing what to expect when I go back home. I hope my dad's ok until I get back, and the rest of my family too. One strange thing though, when I told a few friends that I'm going back, they'd ask me "are you going back for good?" Heck no! Why would that happen? I'm not about to give up my life that i've been building my foundations for the past year. I'm going back now for my family who needs me. For as long as it takes, but not for good. Not yet anyway.
It's my last day in Malaysia for this trip and my dad is in hospital at the moment. It's extremely trying on the nerves and emotions having to leave the country without knowing if my dad will be well. I won't go into details on his condition until we know more about what's going on as the doctors themselves are a little baffled.I'm going to the hospital now to see my parents and my flight will be this afternoon. See you all in Melbourne.
I just arrived back in Ipoh yesterday afternoon after making a quick decision of come back when I heard about my dad's degrading health. He's been in and out of hospital a few times in the last few weeks for various conditions. Thankfully he was discharged yesterday and he was looking well when I got back home.I don't know yet how long I'll be back for, but I can be contacted at my old Maxis mobile number in the meantime.
I got up rather early today, and in a rare instance of spontaneity, I decided to go to the beach to watch the sun rise. Braving the 6 degree chill at 7am, I made my way down to St Kilda and took a leisurely stroll along the shore, nursing a nice hot Long Macchiato. Sitting on the pier in quiet contemplation, listening to the calm lapping of waves. It was sublime, yet with a tinge of melancholy, knowing my dad is in hospital at this very moment. I really hope dad stays strong, day by day, fighting this cancer within him, and not to give up. The rest of us haven't.